Washington, D.C. is a funny city. Everybody is so caught up in what everybody else thinks, yet nobody thinks that perhaps everybody else is thinking the exact same thing they're thinking. Or something.
Nonetheless, so much happens in this city; so much, that if I wanted to write a book about all the scandals, lies, corruption, and juicy scandals that people pass around here I'd have to write a series. And the funny thing is, none of it is secret. It's all out in the open for you to see, write about, photograph, film.
People on the right do this all the time. They'll go out in the streets, take videos of protests, document everything, and engage with people all over the internet, even the deep dark parts. Think of some of the best memers and social media trolls you know. They are most likely people on the right, and have been for a while; left-wing internet trolls are only just catching on.
If a left-wing journalist here in Washington, D.C. wanted to gather defamatory information on right-wing politicians or reach out to Republicans for support, s/he can do it easily. There are so many places in this city where Republicans and conservatives openly hang out and drink. So many social events. You can easily show up at one of these events and not even investigate. Just ask questions. They'll hand you all the dirt you need for your next hit story, right on a silver platter.
I've been to public events and bars where all sorts of public figures were passed out from drinking or engaging in relationships they wouldn't want the public to know about.
You don't need the FBI or a private investigator or some crazy stalker to go and find all the dirt you want to get on those "crazy Republicans." You can literally just walk up to one of them and have a conversation.
But that's the catch.
In Washington, D.C., openly being on the right makes you an automatic persona non grata. You are suddenly considered a 'Nazi" or "white supremacist" boogeyman. Leftists are not likely to touch you with a ten-foot pole, let alone be seen having a conversation with you.
I always joke every time I'm at a GOP social event and I hear some really juicy gossip, this piece of gossip isn't going anywhere. It's staying right here. Because I can guarantee there is not a single person on the left who is willing to be seen at these events without having to claim some sort of alternate reason to their friends for why they were there.
(There's also another way in which they'll engage with you, and that is if you prove that you have completely abandoned your affinity for right-wing politics and call yourself an "ex-GOPer." This actually works, and "ex-GOPers" are a beloved class in Washington, D.C.)
It's beneath D.C. Democrats to engage with the "wacky" right, and that's why they won't show up at Republican parties and hangouts. They won't even try to engage the millions of Democrats they lost to Trump. It's quite odd if you think about it, since that is one of the reasons they lost in the first place. They didn't bother going to Wisconsin.
It reminds me of that time a journalist was working on a story about Don Jr.'s Trump Tower meeting for the New York Times for an entire year, and Don Jr. had "tweeted it out." Was all that investigating really necessary? I'd thought to myself. Couldn't he have interviewed Jr. or something?
Of course, some people on the left are coming to this realization, which seems to benefit them. I remember seeing the Washington Post's Jonathan O'Connell at the Trump Hotel last December and being surprised as heck. He actually showed up at this place where everybody is a Republican and/or Trump supporter and was interviewing people there, which is very, very rare for people on the left to do.
He even tweeted about what he saw later, saying he met a woman who hated the Post, but was "nice otherwise."
I never saw him there after that.
Of course, the pendulum always swings back and forth between Republicans and Democrats, whether we like it or not. Politics is a game, and the trick is always knowing when you have the upper hand and taking advantage of it.
In this case, Democrats totally had the upper hand and blew it. And they continue to blow it because of how out-of-touch they seem with America outside of their bubble. All they need is to recognize how many people exist outside the left-wing political camp and engage with them.
But they won't just yet. They're much, much too good for that.